Cowie earned First Class Honours from Edinburgh University (bachelor's degree 1970), and graduated from Harvard University with a Ph.D in theoretical physics in 1976. As a post-doc he was at Princeton University, where he became an associate professor in 1979. In 1980 he was a Fairchild Scholar at Caltech. Beginning in 1980 he was a professor at MIT and from 1983 at the Space Telescope Science Institute. In 1984 Cowie became a professor at Johns Hopkins University and then in 1986 a professor at the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, where from 1986 to 1997 he was also associate director.
Cowie's research deals with the dynamics of interstellar and intergalactic gas. At the University of Hawaii he investigated, with the telescope on Mauna Kea and with the Hubble Space Telescope, the oldest stars and galaxies in the universe and their formation and early development.
Awards and Honours
In 1984 Cowie won the Bart J. Bok Prize and in 1985 the Helen B. Warner Prize from the American Astronomical Society. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, in 1991 the American Physical Society, and in 2004 the Royal Society. He was awarded the 2009 Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics.
- Lennox L. Cowie, CV at ifa.hawaii.edu
- biographical information from American Men and Women of Science, Thomson Gale 2004
- UH Astronomer Elected Fellow of the British Royal Society, U. of Hawaii News
- American Astronomical Society Announces 2009 Prizes